Swedish mountain rescues hit all-time high

Sweden's mountain rescue services were called out to help more than 500 people in need last year, according to new police figures.

Swedish mountain rescues hit all-time high
File photo of a mountain rescue team. Photo: Nisse Schmidt/TT

Part of the reason for the rising statistics was that police mountain rescue teams also assisted with searching for missing people in general, not necessarily in mountainous areas, as part of a pilot project.

But police have also warned of mountain rescue resources being drained by an apparently increasing number of inexperienced walkers attempting to hike in Sweden's mountains.

That said, mountain rescue teams were called out for a huge variety of reasons in 2017 – in total on 448 occasions, of which 387 search and rescue operations were carried out in mountainous areas.

That compares to 310 call-outs in 2016 and 290 in 2015.

Authorities said that 568 people altogether were rescued by their teams last year.

“It could be anything from fractures to exhaustion and various illnesses,” said Stephen Jerand, police mountain rescue national coordinator, in a statement presenting the final annual statistics.

“The injuries can be complex and taking care of an injured person in the mountains in bad weather, darkness and difficult terrain places great demands on rescue workers,” added Jerrand.

Helicopters were called out to assist with 63 percent of all incidents last year, including police helicopters, Norwegian helicopters, ambulance helicopters and civilian helicopters.

Two percent of the 387 mountain rescue operations were carried out after avalanches.

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